Most infants master crawling between the age of 6 and 10 months. Every baby works crawling out in her own way, perhaps by raising herself up onto all fours and moving her body backward and forward, or by shuffling along the ground on her bottom. Some babies may "army crawl" -- lay on their stomachs and pull themselves forward with their arms -- before crawling properly. Crawling is actually a pretty tricky process, as it involves the coordination of both arms and legs, and requires strong muscles in the arms, legs and shoulders.
Get on the floor, on all fours, beside your baby. Encourage him to imitate your position and praise him if he does, with lots of positive facial expressions. Put your hands right behind his feet when he is on all fours, to give him something to push off.
Place your baby's favorite toys and interesting objects in front of her whenever she is up on all fours, to try to encourage her to crawl toward them. Position the objects just outside her reach to entice her to move forward.
Limit the time your baby spends in a baby seat, walker and bouncy swing. The more time he spends on the floor, the more likely he is to start crawling.
Tips & Warnings
- Child-proof your home to make it a safe environment for your crawling infant.
- Remember that there is no right or wrong way for your baby to crawl. Some infants never crawl at all and progress straight from pulling themselves up to a standing position to walking.
- If your baby appears reluctant to crawl and wants to pull herself up to a standing position instead, focus on encouraging this instead of forcing her to crawl. Let her hold onto your hands when she is standing and give her plenty of praise. Don't push her into walking before she is ready, though. She will get there in her own time.
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